SaaS Technology and Strategy Guide

SaaS technology has swept through the enterprise over the past few years. Be it SaaS ERP, SaaS CRM or any number of other services, IT has been thoroughly disrupted by the on-demand, subscription-based delivery model.

When people talk about cloud computing, they are more than likely talking about Software as a Service (SaaS) technology.

From SaaS CRM to SaaS ERP, these applications have caused major disruption in IT in recent years. More than half of respondents to the TechTarget 2012 IT Priorities survey said they are using it. But anyone with an eye for IT doesn't need a survey to know that SaaS is here to stay.

SearchCloudApplications.com's one-page guide to SaaS Applications and Strategy will serve as a repository for critical SaaS knowledge. For the uninitiated, the guide begins with a series of definitions and a glossary of key terms before moving on to cover key issues and deliver expert advice.

Perhaps no issue is more crucial to understanding SaaS than the debate between choosing it or on-premises software. There are many questions a diligent IT manager should ask of any cloud provider and these articles convey them, along with a description of just how disruptive SaaS has been.

Once the choice is made to move to the cloud, the next logical question is what happens with the data? Cloud integration has become a major issue, whether it's integration between cloud applications, between a cloud app and an on-premises data center, or between a cloud app and on-premises software. Learning how to approach cloud integration is key for success with SaaS.

The rest of our guide includes an expert drilldown into more nuanced SaaS technology issues, an overview of service-level agreements and the potential traps therein for enterprises, and a video guide from consultant Jeff Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies in Wellesley, Mass.

Table of contents:

Top SaaS technology definitions

Software as a Service (SaaS) has become the method of software distribution in the cloud. Gartner predicted SaaS revenues to hover around $10.7 billion in 2011 and offered that there are no signs that growth is ending soon. To understand the trend, it's important to have a firm grip on the terminology.

On-premises vs. SaaS technology

The great debate will rage on as long as vendors have an interest in selling both products. From a decision-maker perspective, deciding between on-premises software and SaaS is a debate at the heart of cloud adoption. It's a decision thousands of IT managers are making on a daily basis. This set of articles addresses those issues.

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SaaS integration

Cloud integration is an intimidating topic for some, but the questions surrounding it are answered in the following stories and expert pieces.

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SaaS: An expert perspective

Why pay for expert advice when it's available here for free? High-level questions are met with detailed answers in this section.

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SaaS and SLAs

There is definitely a "come on in, the water's fine" factor to cloud computing, but this section tells IT managers how to look before they leap when it comes to service-level agreements (SLAs).

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Video guide to SaaS applications

THINKstrategies managing director Jeff Kaplan gives an education in SaaS in this series of videos. He explains the history of the technology, the business factors that led to its rise and the economics of the SaaS market.